September 17, 2019

Grab and Go Evacuation List in 10 Steps

It's always better to plan ahead before an evacuation when your mind is clear, rather than during an actual life-threatening evacuation when you’re having an adrenaline attack. If someone knocked on your door and said you had a few minutes to evacuate, would you be ready? During a mandatory evacuation your greatest concern is the lives of your family. Planning ahead is essential. Here are 10 ideas of how to plan what you will take and the order you would take them.



Every time I do this activity, I realize I'm not as prepared as I want to be and it makes me a bit crazy. Honestly, I've never evacuated, so this activity is something I had to imagine, and it always gets my heart racing.
How to Prioritize an Evacuation List
  1. Create a list of the most important items you would take with you if you had to evacuate.
  2. Divide the big list into 3 smaller lists; what you would take if you had 5 minutes, 15 minutes or 30 minutes to evacuate. See back of this handout.
  3. Arrange your items in the order you would grab them in your house to save you the most time. Perhaps start upstairs, and work your way down. If you don't have an upstairs, then choose a room you would go to first.  
  4. Keep emergency items such as a lantern in a central location such as a hall closet so they are easy to grab and go. 
  5. Have a habit of keeping things in their specified locations, otherwise you'll run around and waste precious time.
  6. During an evacuation, grab the list and a laundry basket and fill it as you gather items.
  7. If you have more than 5 minutes, grab items from the 5 minute AND 15 minute list. If you have 30 minutes, grab items from all of your lists.
  8. Practice the evacuation with your family before a real evacuation is necessary. Also designate a meeting place outside your home at a nearby church or school.
  9. Teach teens that if you are not home, it is safer for them to get out of the house instead of grabbing items on your list. 
  10. Make several copies of the list and hang it inside various cabinets in your home where family will see it but the world won't. 



September 15, 2019

Preparedness Challenge - September Week 2

A new week is upon us so it's time to work on another preparedness challenge. Since our focus this month includes emergency power, during September week 2 decide if you want to purchase a generator. Maybe it will be an early Christmas present for the safety of your family. This is definitely a study-it-out-in-your-mind kind of purchase because they cost anywhere from $400 to $6000. Also gather extra batteries this month.



1. Buy a Generator and Fuel
During a disaster, our power will most likely be shut off. Electricity powers many items including your wheat grinder, can opener, microwave oven, refrigerator, freezer, fans, furnace, air conditioning, electric stove top, washer, dryer, computers, television, medical equipment just to name a few. If you can't live without these for a week, maybe purchase a generator.
  • Here's a Consumer Reports article to study before you buy a generator. https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/generators/buying-guide/index.htm
  • Just like cases of bottled water, generators disappear from store shelves before a disaster. We don't always have warning when a disaster will strike.
  • Dual fuel portable generators run on either gas or propane. If your gas cans become empty, and gas station pumps run on electricity, where will you find more gas? Propane is an option.
  • Electricians can attach a more powerful generator to your home, but it's pricey.
  • It's a good idea to lock your generator to something if you are running it at night. Generators are loud and have been known to disappear overnight. 
  • Look up Sam's Club generators online. Different states will have different models. My local Costco has these portable generators on store shelves:







2. Buy Heavy-Duty Extension Cords
Besides having extra fuel on hand, you'll need long heavy-duty extension cords to plug your refrigerator and freezer or furnace into the generator. "Always operate a generator a minimum of 20 feet from your home, with the exhaust directed away from any windows, doors, air conditioners or other structures." Consumer Reports

  • Where is the best area to place your generator outside so you can plug items into it? Get out a measuring tape and measure the distance. It may surprise you how far it is. Our distance was 75 feet. You may end up buying two generators: one to keep your freezer foods safe in your basement and another to take care of other needs on another level of your home.

3. Buy Extra Batteries
It's always a good idea to have extra batteries on hand. Some are specialized. Consider some of the items you use batteries for in your home. Most flashlights use them as well as medical equipment and kids' Christmas toys.  Costco has Duracell AA (40 ct.) and AAA (32 ct.) on sale now until Sept. 29th. Regularly $16.99, they're $3.00 off. Sam's Club had them on sale last week.


EnJOY finding some power this week.

Valerie Albrechtsen
The Food Storage Organizer


September 7, 2019

Preparedness Challenge - September Week 1

This week we'll gather fruit, nuts and seeds for our first September Preparedness Challenge. Most of us prefer fresh fruit, but if you didn't have any, could you substitute canned or dried? We are fortunate that nuts and seeds are becoming more and more economical.



1. Gather Short-term Fruit, Nuts and Seeds
Fruit
You may can or dry your own fruit or purchase it. A variety of canned or dried is economical.

  • Most canned fruit has an 18 -24 month shelf life.
  • Ideas: peaches, pears, pineapple, mandarin oranges, applesauce, raisins, cranberries, dried apricots, and dried mangoes and coconut.
  • If you rely heavily on frozen fruit, it's a smart to get a generator for power outages
  • Shop Utah case lot sales for canned fruit in September and March, and February.
Nuts and Seeds
Gather a variety based on family needs. Be careful how you store them because of the oil in them can go rancid over time.

  • Keep nuts in your refrigerator or freezer. 
  • Store opened peanut butter in the pantry for 3 months, then the refrigerator after this time.
  • Organic almond butter should be refrigerated. Check the label to be sure.
  • Ideas: almond and peanut butter, almonds, walnuts and cashew, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds and sunflower seeds.
  • Nuts go on sale in November, but peanut butter goes on sale in August and September.

2. Gather Long-term Fruit
Our goal is to "gradually build a longer-term supply of foods that will sustain life." Long-term means the fruit has a 20 to 30-year shelf life. 
  • Freeze-dried fruits are pricey. Be careful not to overdo it. 
  • Dehydrated Apple Slices may be purchased at the LDS Home Storage Center. 
  • 30-year shelf life. Current price is $11.25 for 1 lb.
  • A recommended amount for a year's supply is 8 #10 cans per person.
  • If you snack on dried apple slices, drink lots of water.
  • Re-hydrate apple slices with an equal amount of water.
EnJOY gathering a few new food storage items and some of your all-time favorites.

Valerie Albrechtsen
The Food Storage Organizer

September 5, 2019

Grocery Shopping List printable

Last night I planned today's grocery trip with my Grocery Shopping List printable. Even though I don't have to work so hard to save money, I'm doing it anyway. If we talk our country into a big 'R' (recession 🤫), I want to be well skilled at saving money.


I shopped at Smith's grocery store again today and bought more small canned foods for my food storage. Loading it up.
I looked up sales and regular prices online, added online coupons and the location of items in the store. Love that!! ❤️
Shopping took longer than expected, but when you're trying to shop once a week you have to plan carefully. 👍
GROCERIES
$115.81 Full Price
$79.30 My Price
------------------------
$36.51 My savings 🤸‍♀️ I can do better.
WEEK 2: FOOD STORAGE I BOUGHT:
$4.00 4 Prego Spaghetti Sauce
$1.50 2 Annie's Mac & Cheese
$1.96 4 Koger Crushed tomatoes
$1.52 4 Kroger Beef broth
$1.52 4 Kroger Chicken broth
$1.58 2 Campbell's Cream of Chicken soup
$2.79 1 Simple Truth Organic Red Kidney Beans 4 pk.
$2.00 1 Simple Truth Organic applesauce cups
$2.25 3 Kroger Spaghetti
COST: $19.12

August 25, 2019

Preparedness Challenge - August Week 3

This month, our third Preparedness Challenge is to gather canning jars and food storage supplies, and to add emergency shelter activities to our 72-hour kits. Whether you are a canner or not, it's a great idea to add glass canning jars, storage containers or plastic storage bags to your home supplies. Besides using them for canning fruits and vegetables, these items can store food and so much more.




1. Gather Canning Jars and Food Storage Containers

  • Mason jars come in a variety of sizes from tiny to giant. 
  • Store yeast, vital wheat gluten, wheat flour, oat flour, almond flour, nuts, etc. in jars or storage containers in your refrigerator or freezer. Many of these items lose their nutritional value on your shelf. Nuts can go rancid if they are not refrigerated.
  • Buy at Walmart, Amazon, dollar stores, grocery stores and thrift stores.
Great Ideas for storing in jars found here at the kitchn.com.

Kitchn.com
Food Storage Organizer
These 12 oz. jelly jars are the perfect size for some of my baking supplies.

Food Storage Organizer
Recently, I made an oatmeal breakfast station. I'm determined to incorporate food storage into our lives and this came to mind. Pretty cool, huh? I'll be tweaking it because 1/2 cup of oatmeal isn't enough for me to eat. The oats, dry milk and apples are from the LDS Home Storage Centers. I broke up the apple slices into smaller pieces. How's that for using your food storage!


Food Storage Organizer

These pint-sized wide mouth Ball jars are the perfect size for oatmeal station toppings.

Food Storage Organizer
I love my Brother P-touch, PTD210 label maker too! It helps with all of my organization needs.


2. Add 72-Hour Kit Shelter Activities
You'll never know when you will need to evacuate or how long you'll be gone. Always have some items on hand to keep your hands and mind busy while you're waiting at a hotel or emergency shelter. I always think, "What if my grandkids were with me? Am I prepared to entertain them?"

  • Small notepad and pen.
  • List of games that require no equipment (look for a list on Pinterest and print it).
  • Small non-electronic games (Deck of cards, Pass the Pig, Sudoku, coloring book, fidget, Hacky Sack, a bouncy ball, small stuffed animal, etc.) Look around the house. You probably have something to add to your kit right at home. 

Best wishes on gathering this week!

Valerie Albrechtsen
The Food Storage Organizer
www.foodstorageorganizer.com

August 14, 2019

Preparedness Challenge - August Week 2

This month, our second Preparedness Challenge is to gather canned or dried vegetables and popcorn. This could include short-term shelf life vegetables or long-term dehydrated vegetables.



1. Gather Short-Term Shelf Life Vegetables
You may can your own or purchase them. Try to store a variety. A few ideas are corn, green beans, chilis, potatoes, mushrooms and carrots. You may also dehydrate vegetables and herbs. Next month we'll focus on gathering fruits, but of course if you have some ready for canning, go for it. Pin several new recipes that use shelf-stable vegetables and make something.

Popcorn kernels
  • Can be ground into cornmeal with your wheat grinder.
  • Can be air popped or popped over an outdoor fire.
  • Buy at your grocery or warehouse store and store it in jars or plastic containers. If no oils or butter were added to it, it should be fine to store for 2 years or many more.
Heads up. Several stores in Utah will have discounted canned vegetables at their case lot sales this September.

2. Gather Long-Term Shelf Life Vegetables

Dehydrated Carrot Dices
  • 10-year shelf life.
  • Excellent source of vitamin A.
  • Add to soups, stews and slow cooking roast.
  • They rehydrate best in double the amount of liquid overnight in the refrigerator
  • TIP: transfer some of the carrots into a pint-sized jar for kitchen use.
  • LDS Home Storage Center8.1 lb. can, $8.50. Hands down, the best price on the market since the LDS Church does not pay marketing fees.
Potato Flakes
  • 30-year shelf life.
  • Good source of vitamins.
  • Once opened, use within 1-2 years.
  • TIP: Write the date you opened the can on it.
  • Make mashed potatoes. Thicken gravies, sauces, and soups. A crispy coating for fried meats and vegetables. Make lighter, fluffier bread and other baked goods. For meatballs, replace your breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs with potato flakes.
  • LDS Home Storage Center1.8 lb. can, $5.00.
Good luck gathering vegetables this week.

Valerie Albrechtsen
The Food Storage Organizer
www.foodstorageorganizer.com


August 5, 2019

Preparedness Challenge - August Week 1

For the first August Preparedness Challenge, we'll gather emergency shelter equipment aka camping gear, and store it where we can access it. If you like to camp, you're ahead of the game. If you don't camp, you need some equipment too. Check online for some great clearance deals. This list is just the basics. May you never have to use them for an emergency.



1. GATHER EMERGENCY SHELTER EQUIPMENT

TENT
  • Consider getting one that is larger than the number of people and pets in your family. Or if you have a large family, get two smaller tents. This will give you room to store and protect supplies inside the tent with you.
  • Read several reviews from various websites for more accurate ratings.
  • Now is the time to replace your old tent. Rain or snow storms are not fun to experience in a damaged tent.
  • Consider that you may have to stay in your tent for several months. So, get a good tent.
SLEEPING BAG
  • Consider the nighttime temperatures where you live at the coldest times of the year.
TARP(S)
  • This could be used under your tent, as a rain shield over your tent, or as an emergency shelter.
LANTERN(S)
  • Choose one with an LED bulb as it will last longer.
DUCT TAPE
  • Use it to repair holes in your tent, backpack or for other needs. "If it can't be fixed with duct tape, then you're not using enough duct tape."
ROPE
  • A nylon rope is a great back up if one of your tent ropes breaks. Keep one in your tent bag.

Good luck gathering camping gear for your emergency shelter this week.

Valerie Albrechtsen
The Food Storage Organizer

August 1, 2019

LDS Food Storage Price Specials: August/September

Here are Home Storage Center price specials from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for August and September.  These are awesome prices! Most food storage offered at these centers are sealed for long-term storage. A great way to stock up on food storage! Members of the Church and those not of our faith may purchase items.


A few items are chosen each month to be put on sale at about 10% off the regular prices. These prices are offered in the United States. Here is a link to locations.

Whenever I need something, I shop at one of the two home storage centers near me. Yes, I'm spoiled in an amazing way. Hopefully there is something you need from the list above.

Best wishes,

Valerie Albrechtsen
The Food Storage Organizer

July 28, 2019

Food Storage, Just Plain and Simple

Over the years of blog writing, I've run into extreme preppers who say I should do way more than I'm doing. Well, they give me anxiety! I need my efforts to be just plain and simple. Years ago, when I first started gathering food storage, I was completely overwhelmed. I kept thinking my shelves had to look like the shelves of a woman who cans her food from her Garden of Eden vegetable garden. But honestly, I buy most of my food.




When The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints simplified their food storage (home storage) program in 2007, a light bulb went on for me. IT was plain and simple!
  • Food Supply (three-month and long-term)
  • Drinking Water
  • Financial Reserve
I was already a frugal grocery shopper, so I got that three-month food supply thing figured out super quick by learning not to leave my cupboards bare. You don't have to be a hoarder, but purchase a few more cans, boxes or bags of food than you normally need each week. And soon you'll have a food supply. It a c t u a l l y  g r o w s!

Gathering emergency water was simple. It just took one Saturday to get focused, find containers and have my husband fill them up.

As far as a financial reserve (aka emergency savings), I came up with a monthly amount of money our bank automatically transfers from checking to savings. Slow and steady wins the race. Every so often, I get some cash out in small bills, and bring it home for emergencies. 

Gathering long-term foods can be simple if you learn to use what you store. I know, I know. Everyone wants to buy freeze-dried food they don't actually eat until there's a disaster. But the counsel is to gather food storage gradually and USE IT, so it gets rotated. Then when you lose your job or are financially strapped when a family member has a long-term illness, you can use that food. It's not just for natural disasters.

Elder Dallin H. Oaks, an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, gave us this counsel:

“We need to make both temporal and spiritual preparation for the events prophesied at the time of the Second Coming. And the preparation most likely to be neglected is the one less visible and more difficult—the spiritual. A 72-hour kit of temporal supplies may prove valuable for earthly challenges, but, as the foolish virgins learned to their sorrow, a 24-hour kit of spiritual preparation is of greater and more enduring value.” Preparation For the Second Coming, May 2004



Ensign Magazine, March 2009

I want to be one of those five wise virgins in the 25th chapter of Matthew and gather temporal food and spiritual oil. I hope each of you wants to move forward with preparedness too. It can be just plain and simple.

Valerie Albrechtsen
The Food Storage Organizer

July 17, 2019

Preparedness Challenge – July Week 2

This week for the second July Preparedness Challenge, let's gather some short-term and long-term rice, and canned meats into our food storage. Check out a few ideas below.



1. GATHER RICE INTO FOOD STORAGE

BROWN RICE
Has a short-term shelf life so it’s perfect for your 3-month food storage supply.
  • According to StillTasty.com, brown rice has a 3-6 month pantry shelf life, 6 - 12 month refrigerator shelf-life and a 12 - 18 month freezer shelf life. 
  • High oil content of brown rice causes it to spoil more quickly than white rice. 
  • Transfer brown rice to a covered airtight container or resealable plastic freezer bag.
WHITE RICE
White, Basmati and Jasmine rice are great food items to store in your short AND long-term food storage.
  • "Store in a cool dry area; after opening the package, place the uncooked white rice in a sealed airtight container or place original package in a resealable heavy-duty freezer bag." StillTasty
  • White rice has an indefinite shelf life if protected from contamination. 
  • Discard if it develops an off odor, flavor or appearance, or if insects or other contaminants appear.
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sells white rice in large 5.4 lb. cans for $5.00. Cans have a 30 year shelf life (if stored properly). Order online or pick up at an LDS Home Storage Center.
  • A year's supply is about 12 of these cans. See "An Approach to Longer-Term Food Storage."
store.churchofjesuschrist.org

2. GATHER CANNED MEAT INTO FOOD STORAGE

Canned chicken, roast beef, tuna, corned beef hash, Vienna sausages and Spam are readily available. Here are some stocking and use tips:
  • Quick and easy to use. A great backup for a last minute meal.
  • Typically has about a 2-year shelf life. 
  • A 12 oz can of roast beef can be used in place of 1 lb. of ground beef in many recipes. A 12 oz can of chicken can be used in enchiladas, salads and chicken sandwiches.
  • Can your own meat in jars with a meat pressure canner for added savings.
Good luck gathering rice and meat this week. You CAN do it!

Valerie Albrechtsen
The Food Storage Organizer

July 5, 2019

Preparedness Challenge – July Week 1

Over the years I've written posts about fire safety during the month of October because that’s National Fire Safety month. But after visiting the aftermath of Paradise, California last year, I decided to move fire safety into our July prep. It's never too early to prepare for fires. Earthquakes, tornadoes and other disasters cause fires too. So, this week we’ll be gathering fire safety and rescue equipment.


1. Buy or Test Fire Safety Equipment

A. Buy a fire escape ladder if you have or live on the 2nd floor.
B. Buy or test your fire extinguisher.
  • This video shows firefighters going door to door helping people test their fire extinguishers and find the correct place to store them. Sorry, it shouldn't be under your kitchen sink. https://youtu.be/wKC3PnbdMwQ
C. Buy or test your smoke alarms. Do you have a newer model? Yes, they do get old.
D. Buy or test your carbon monoxide detector.

All items may be purchased at Walmart, Sam’s Club and Costco and other hardware store.

Costco

2. Buy or Gather Rescue Supplies

Let firefighters or other first responders do the rescuing whenever possible, but if you must come to the rescue, a few of the supplies below may help. And if you aren't strong enough or trained to rescue someone, wouldn't it be nice to hand someone else the equipment you have on hand? Keep these items stored in a well-marked tote where you can easily find them. Put the work gloves on top.
  • Pry bar - can pull nails, pry, lift or scrape. One idea is the Wonder Bar or Super Bar. About $12.
  • Outdoor climbing rope - can help you tie off an object or assist in a rescue. About $20.
  • Headlamp - can keep your hands free to help you see in the dark. About $10.
  • Work gloves - to protect your hands from sharp objects. About $10.
  • Emergency Auto Safety Hammer - use to break out or into a car. About $5. Amazon VicTsing. This may be a Christmas gift for my family.
    As you ponder what you can do to keep your family safe, answers will come.



    Best wishes on working on this week's preparedness challenge.

    Valerie Albrechtsen

    June 29, 2019

    LDS Home Storage Center Price Specials July/August

    Here are the LDS Home Storage Center price specials for July and August which are about 10% off the regular price. 💖😁 Another great way to gather food storage.


    This is the first time I've seen 25 lb. bags of Hard Red Wheat on sale. 👈

    www.churchofjesuschrist.org

    Even though you can no longer can foods yourself at the Home Storage Centers, you may still buy mylar foil bags there ($.80 ea.) and oxygen absorber packets (100 ct. for $9.55). You might enjoy putting food storage in smaller 11"x13" pouches.

    HOW TO USE POUCHES? Go here to churchofjesuschrist.org.

    store.lds.org

    LDS Church members and non-church members may shop at LDS Home Storage Centers. Find a location at this link.

    Here's an article at LDSLiving called "Wheat, the Remarkable Grain" with answers to question about different types of wheat.

    Enjoy some new adventures in food storage!

    Valerie Albrechtsen
    The Food Storage Organizer

    June 26, 2019

    Preparedness Challenge – June Week 4

    During week four of our June Preparedness Challenges, we’ll be gathering short-term and long-term food storage beverages.These goals are similar to the weekly Preparedness Challenge - January Week 2, but I'm feeling we need a refresher. Last week for power outages we found our coolers (I had to look in three places!), gathered our ice packs (now on the top shelf in my big freezer) and bought a refrigerator/freezer thermometer (found mine on Amazon).



    1. Gather Fortified and Electrolyte Beverages
    We're encouraged by the LDS Church to store foods that would help us if we had nothing else to eat. A fortified drink mix (or vitamins) is part of that plan. Here are a few items available at the LDS Home Storage Centers right now! Locations can be found at this link.


    LDS Berry Drink Mix
    • Provides 100% vitamin C as well as 10% of other vitamins.
    • On sale now for $4.00 (regularly $4.50)! Sale ends July 31. Not sold online
    • 2.5 lb. resealable pouch or 41 servings.
    • Buy individual pouches or a case box of 12.
    • Contains sugar but not overly sweet. You could substitute vitamins for this drink mix. 
    • 3-year shelf life.
    • Also, store an electrolyte beverage as well. If a serious illness or pandemic ever happens, you need something to help replenish lost nutrients.
    2. Gather Nonfat-Dry Milk

    LDS Nonfat Dry Milk

    • Provides calcium and protein.
    • On sale now for $3.50 (regularly $4.00)! Sale ends July 31. 
    • 28 oz. (1.8 lb.) resealable pouch and makes 29 servings.
    • Buy individual pouches or a case box of 12.
    • GREAT taste! It's been reformulated so it's not the same milk that came in those big cans.
    • Keep it with your cooking supplies so you WILL use it.
    • I1 cup of water + 3 T of LDS Nonfat Dry Milk = 1 Cup milk
    • 20-year shelf life unopened if stored in a cool, dry place and about a 3-month shelf life opened.
    • A long-term food, but it's very economical for everyday use.
    • A 3-month supply = 7 pouches. A 12-month supply = 28 pouches (49 lbs.).

    Some people say, “I never use my food storage. Why should I store it?" Well, perhaps the blessings have already come to your family. Food storage is the best home insurance. Be committed and enjoy the blessings of food storage!

    Valerie Albrechtsen
    The Food Storage Organizer

    June 20, 2019

    Preparedness Challenge – June Week 3

    For week three of our June Preparedness Challenges, we'll gather a cooler, ice packs and appliance thermometers in case of a power outage which can happen any time of the year. So plan ahead.



    After a power outage, a refrigerator can only keep your food safe for up to 4 hours. What would you want to save? Dairy? Meat?

    You could transfer some items into your freezer, then keep the door closed. A freezer can keep food cold up to 24 hours if half full and 48 hours if very full. Beyond this time your food is no longer safe to eat. Does your medication need refrigeration? Keep a lunch kit with a cold pack frozen at all times just in case.

    1. Have a Cooler and Ice Packs
    Another alternative to transferring items to the freezer is to put perishable items in a cooler with ice packs. Place ice packs in the bottom, then food, then more ice packs on top. You could drive to the store for ice, but I’d avoid it in a disaster. Frozen water bottles can be inexpensive ice blocks. Make sure they are not completely full to allow for expansion when frozen. Store your cooler in a specific location where family members can find it if they need to pack it during a power outage.

    2. Buy a Few Appliance Thermometers
    Keep a fridge/freezer appliance thermometer in your refrigerator and freezer to know with a quick glance the temperature in there. It’s recommended that our refrigerators be kept at 40 degrees or below and the freezer should be at 0 degrees. It’s so important to keep the doors to these appliances closed during a power outage.

    Good thing we have non-perishable foods in our pantry, because that's what we should eat first in a long-term power outage. For more power outage safety tips, see FoodSafety.gov and FDA.gov.

    Best wishes on this week's preparedness challenge. You CAN do it!

    Valerie Albrechtsen
    The Food Storage Organizer

    June 13, 2019

    Preparedness Challenge – June Week 2

    Our second Preparedness Challenge in June is to put underwear, socks, a rain poncho and a flashlight into our grab and go 72-hour kits. That shouldn't be too difficult. But these simple items are so very important.



    Gather into your Grab and Go Kit:

    1. Underwear and Socks
    Of all the items you put in your kit, you’ll probably want clean underwear. After a disaster when your clothes have gotten wet or dirty, something clean is a true blessing. Many of us with growing children should inspect or trade out underwear and socks in kits each year so we have the correct size. At least one extra of each. Put these items in a plastic zipper bag to keep them dry and mark the date you added them to the kit on the bag. Add a reminder on your calendar to update them next year. You've got this!

    If you have an infant, keep a change of clothing in your diaper bag at all times as it will probably become your grab-and-go 72-hour kit.

    2. Rain Poncho and Flashlight
    There is nothing worse than getting wet during a disaster. All over the news we see people evacuating through rain and flood waters. Find an inexpensive rain poncho for each member of your family and put them in their kits. You'll find them at dollar stores, Walmart or even your favorite colleges stores.

    BYU Bookstore

    Also get a flashlight or headlamp for each kit. I just ordered the EverBrite 18-pack Mini LED Flashlight Set from Amazon for less than $17 and will pass the extra flashlights out to my kids and grandkids for Christmas.

    Amazon 

    EverBrite 18-pack Mini LED Flashlight Set



    Keep the gathering simple. Best wishes on accomplishing this week's challenge.

    Valerie Albrechtsen
    The Food Storage Organizer


    June 6, 2019

    Preparedness Challenge - June Week 1

    Sorry I've not posted much lately, but I've been busy with vacations and family just like the rest of you. 😊



    This week's Preparedness Challenge is to check your emergency water supply. Is it adequate? Do you have about 14 gallons of water per person? People living in hot climates, should store even more.

    Never ration water. Always give children what they need as dehydration sets in very quickly for those little ones.

    Clean drinking water is essential for all of us. So be wise and store some H2O for your family.

    Review my Preparedness Challenge - January Week 3 for many ideas on storing emergency drinking water. I feel it should be repeated as a good reminder.

    Best wishes!

    Valerie Albrechtsen
    The Food Storage Organizer

    Note: this is the same handout as January Week 3.

    June 1, 2019

    LDS Home Storage Center Sale - June and July

    Here are the U.S. LDS Home Storage Center price specials for June and July. These special prices are about 10% off the regular price. 💖😁 Another great way to gather food storage.


    Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and non church members may shop at LDS Home Storage Centers. Go here to find locations.

    Here is a flyer from the Salt Lake Welfare Square with the price specials you may share with wards or friends.



    May 27, 2019

    Preparedness Challenge - May Week 4

    Our preparedness challenge for this week is simply to gather a supply of disposable eating items like paper plates, cups, bowls, utensils and more. Something you probably shop for already, but they would be extremely useful in an emergency.



    I know some of you believe in saving the environment, but during an emergency or disaster, you need to feed your hungry family.

    After most disasters, many people are temporarily sheltered in tent cities and they are basically camping. Disposable eating supplies become a necessity because you can't find water to wash dishes. So, I always keep a supply of disposable picnic supplies on hand. Here are some ideas that may help you:

    1.  Gather Disposable Picnic Supplies
    These items always go on sale during May, June and July which is awesome! Costco and Sam's Club have them on sale for a few more weeks. But also check pharmacies like Walgreens. They also have special deals.
    • paper plates
    • cups, paper or plastic, and even some styrofoam cups for hot beverages
    • bowls paper or foam
    • plastic utensils
    • heavyweight foil
    • paper towels
    • napkins
    • disposable table cloths
    The key is not to let these items disappear on your shelves before you need them. Sure you can use part of them, but replenish them. 

    Have fun gathering!

    Valerie Albrechtsen
    The Food Storage Organizer

    May 26, 2019

    N95 Face Masks Protect From Wildfire Smoke Inhalation

    We've had lots of rain in Utah this year, and rain brings extra vegetation which can lead to late summer wildfires if temperatures rise quickly. Overall, officials are expecting fewer fires. However, we live less than a quarter of a mile from the mountains. So, one emergency item that keeps coming to my mind to buy is N95 respirators. Especially those that fit the faces of children.

    LA Times

    Appropriate masks disappeared quickly after the California wildfires. According to an article in the LA Times, the type of mask to get is an N95 respirators or P100 masks. A surgical mask or a hardware store dust mask will NOT protect your lungs from wildfire smoke particulates.

    LA Times
    "The mask should have two straps — one placed below the ears and one above. And it should seal tightly to your face."

    The FDA says: "The ‘N95’ designation means that when subjected to careful testing, the respirator blocks at least 95 percent of very small (0.3 micron) test particles. If properly fitted, the filtration capabilities of N95 respirators exceed those of face masks. However, even a properly fitted N95 respirator does not completely eliminate the risk of illness or death.

    "N95 respirators are not designed for children or people with facial hair. Because a proper fit cannot be achieved on children and people with facial hair, the N95 respirator may not provide full protection."

    Amazon 

    Safety N95 Particulate Respirator w/Exhalation


    Adult masks don't fit well on children's faces either, so I'm adding some Ligart kid-sized masks to my supplies for the grandkids and neighborhood kids. Better safe than sorry, and ahead of the demand.

    REFERENCES


    https://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-wildfire-mask-safety-20181115-story.html

    https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/personal-protective-equipment-infection-control/masks-and-n95-respirators

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